indicatorThe Owl

Two-thirds of Alberta businesses generally optimistic when looking ahead 12 months

At their current level of revenue and expenditure, about 5 per cent of Alberta businesses said they would have to consider closure or bankruptcy within six months or less

By ATB Economics 31 May 2021 1 min read

Statistics Canada's Survey on Business Conditions asked respondents about their expectations over the next quarter* and found that 42 per cent of Alberta businesses expected their profitability to decline and 29 per cent expected their sales to go down.

There was some optimism, but it was much less prevalent with just 9 per cent of businesses expecting their profitability to improve and 13 per cent expecting an uptick in sales.

By way of context, the survey was conducted as the third wave of the virus was rolling over the province and (mostly) after stricter public health measures were announced on April 6.

About 8 in 10 businesses anticipated no change in their number of staff with 9 per cent expecting an increase and 11 per cent a decrease.

Uncertainty around staffing was highest in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector and the accommodation and food services sector. Just under a quarter of businesses in these sectors expected to add employees while between 15 and 17 per cent expected to let people go.

At their current level of revenue and expenditure, about 5 per cent of Alberta businesses said they would have to consider closure or bankruptcy within six months or less and 14 per cent said they would have to think about laying off staff.

Looking ahead over the next 12 months, optimism outweighs pessimism with 17 per cent of businesses saying they are very optimistic, 51 per cent somewhat optimistic and 15 per cent not optimistic (17 per cent said they didn’t know).

*The most recent survey was conducted from April 1 to May 6, 2021, and respondents were asked what their expectations would be over the next three-month period. As a result, those three months could range from April 1 to August 6, 2021, depending on when the business responded.

Answer to the previous trivia question: The mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector has the highest average weekly earnings in both Alberta and Canada.

Today’s trivia question: Which sector employs the most people in Alberta?

Alberta businesses report a wide range of obstacles

Alberta businesses report a wide range of obstacles


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